The WTO organizes hundreds of technical cooperation missions to developing countries each year. He also maintains many trade policies in Geneva for government officials every year. Regional seminars are held regularly in all regions of the world, with a particular focus on African countries. E-learning courses are also available. In 2017, some 18,500 participants benefited from WTO training aimed at improving understanding of WTO agreements and global trade rules. Friends of the multilateral trading system can take four complementary paths to revive the WTO as a forum for trade cooperation and conflict resolution: the least developed countries are highlighted as particularly worrying in the Final Act. This is reflected in the agreements by a number of provisions that treat the group best in terms of rights and lesser obligations. In addition, the Decision on Measures for least developed countries provides for special assistance measures, including technical assistance “for the development, strengthening and diversification of their production and export base, including services, as well as for trade promotion, in order to maximize the benefits of market access liberalization”. As part of its tasks, the Committee on Trade and Development (a subsidiary body of the General Council) will regularly review the special provisions for least developed countries and report to the WTO General Council on the measures to be taken. This is followed by additional agreements and annexes dealing with the specific requirements of certain sectors or themes. The cornerstone of the agreements on trade in goods is the GATT 1994, an updated version of the GATT 1947, supplemented by agreements interpreting different provisions.
In addition, there are agreements on practices that are favourable to GATT rules (trade-related investment and “grey area” measures), trade liberalization agreements in agriculture and in the textile and clothing sector, and agreements on the application of non-tariff measures (see Box 1). While agricultural products, textiles and clothing are in principle covered by GATT rules, the rules have been less effective in the past than for other products. With regard to agriculture, the main outcomes of the negotiations are improved market access by reducing barriers and broadening the scope of commitments, gradually reducing trade-distorting domestic support measures and reducing subsidies to stimulate export competition. This process will create the conditions for future negotiations on market opening. In the case of textiles and clothing, the removal of restrictions and the exit from the multifibre agreement over a ten-year period will mean that an important export sector for many developing countries will be entirely within the disciplines of multilateral trading systems. Another important change – not in the procedures, but in the functioning of dispute settlement within the system as a whole – is the integration of all the dispute settlement procedures put in place under the different agreements (goods, services, TRIPS) into a single system managed by a dispute resolution body. This integration of implementation into agreements reflects the integration of rights and obligations that are implied by the sole commitment of WTO members. . . .